Tuesday, October 14, 2014
The auto industry, an engine of economies around the world, is facing a culture change with nary a clue how to handle it. The shift? Teenagers are no longer eager to get their licenses, to drive and to shell out for a car. Blame for this has been placed on social media but that isn't necessarily so. Many factors might be a part of the change, including the cost of gas, the initial price of cars, high insurance rates and more. But whatever the causes, the outcome is harmful to the industry, which depends on nurturing a new crop of drivers annually. What kind of PR program does the industry need to encourage teenagers to get behind the wheel? There probably isn't one message nor one program but several. Hanging out with friends is probably not part of the communication because teenagers spend hours a day on social media meeting and talking to friends. Adventure might be part of the answer. Love of the automobile is probably not. Teenagers consider cars just a mode of transportation and have little sentiment for the curves and eye-catching design of sheet metal. What is needed now is an in-depth study of this new public and how to relate to them.